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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Was Jesus Always Confident of His Identity?

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Don Stewart

The Bible testifies that Jesus is the eternal God who became a man in order to sacrifice His life for the sins of the world. This brings up certain questions. Was this something He was always aware of? Was there ever a time Jesus doubted His calling? Or, could it be possible that He was overwhelmed by all the attention He received and allowed Himself to be taken for someone He was not?

He Was Always Confident Of His Identity

The Bible is clear that Jesus was always confident of who He was and why He had come to earth. From our first glimpse of Him, until the end of His life, we find Jesus confident of His person and message.

Jesus At Age Twelve

The first encounter we have of Him, apart from the birth record, is at age twelve.

His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and his mother did not know it; but supposing him to have been in the company, they went a day's journey, and sought him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. Now so it was that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard were astonished at his understanding and answers. So when they saw him, they were amazed; and his mother said to him, 'Son, why have you done this to us? Look, your Father and I have sought you anxiously.' And he said to them, 'Why is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?' (Luke 2:41-49).

From this account we see that at the age of twelve He knew His identity. He told Mary that He was about His Father's business.

When Did Jesus Realize His Identity?

As to exactly when and how He realized His identity we are not told. Scripture is silent on this matter. The only thing we can say for certain is that He did know by the age of twelve. Apart from this it is only futile speculation.

Jesus Was Always Confident Of His Identity During His Public Ministry

During His public ministry, His confidence in His calling was sure. He told the religious rulers exactly where He came from.

You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world (John 8:23).

Jesus clearly recognized His origin.

Jesus Was Confident Of His Identity At The Garden Of Gethsemane

If there ever were a time when one would expect Jesus to have doubts about who He was, it would have been during His betrayal and death. But in the face of this great adversity, He never denied who He was or the calling that He had.

In the Garden of Gethsemane,

He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw, and he knelt down and prayed, saying, 'Father, if it is your will, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but yours be done' (Luke 22:41,42).

Jesus knew what He was about to face and He faced it without wavering.

He Was Confident Of Who He Was At His Trial

At His trial, Jesus confessed to being the Christ:

And the high priest answered and said to him, 'I adjure you by the living God that you tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.' Jesus said to him, 'It is as you said' (Matthew 26:63,64).

He realized that this confession would lead to His eventual death. If He had any doubts about His calling, the trial was His chance to set the record straight. Yet He made it clear that He believed Himself to be the Christ.


Jesus was fully aware of his identity. From age twelve until His death on Calvary's cross we find that Jesus was always certain of His identify. He never questioned His calling, never wavered on who He was. As to when he became certain of who he was the Bible does not tell us. What we do know is that on the first recorded occasion when he spoke with people, in the temple at age twelve, he knew exactly whom he was - the Christ. He recognized that God was his Father in a unique way.

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